Monday November 3rd, 2014

Crystal Palace fans protested the idea of Premier League matches being played abroad at the team's game against Sunderland on Monday, according to Neil Ashton of The Daily Mail

Fans held up signs that said "No to the 38th game abroad" and "English games on English soil." Mark Chapman of BBC reports that it appeared stewards were trying to remove the banner from fans. 

Last month, The Guardian reported that the idea of playing abroad was "informally discussed" around the Premier League boardroom table in September, and that many clubs were pushing for it after seeing the success of American leagues like the NFL and NBA playing games in London.

Soccer officials discuss winter for Qatar World Cup

In October, both Arsenal and Chelsea fans voiced their opposition to a 38th game abroad. Arsenal's Black Scarf Movement put out a statement that said "the integrity of English football is at risk" and called a potential round of games abroad a "money-making exercise."

"It should never be forgotten that match-going fans are the life and soul of our game," the BSM statement said. 'We appreciate that monster commercial and television contracts have ensured the Premier League and its clubs are rolling in cash and that there is less reliance on income from ticket sales, but without the attendance and passion of the fans at matches, the Premier League would have no brand to sell.

"While it's fantastic that the Premier League has acquired millions of new fans across the globe, the idea of playing a round of matches abroad and the associated issues that come with it, could be disastrous."

- Molly Geary



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